Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide mask mandate on Tuesday for people in public, as well as teachers and students going back to school.
The big picture: 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have issued some form of a mask mandate as infections surge across the country.
- "I want to see college football," Reeves said at a press conference. "The best way for that to occur is for us all to realize is that wearing a mask, as irritating as that can be and I promise I hate it more than anyone watching, is critical."
- Florida, a domestic epicenter of the pandemic, has not issued a mask mandate, though Ssme of its cities have.
Why it matters: Face masks are essential to slowing the coronavirus' spread, but have become politicized in recent months.
States/territories that are mandating facial coverings in public:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Of note: Some city and local governments such as Phoenix and Jacksonville have enacted mandates as well. Other states have rules for people in certain situations, such as taking public transit or entering grocery stores.